Travel

Austin: Deep in the Heart of Texas

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GUNAS New York
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Known as the Live Music Capital of the World, Austin is a city that is steeped in both the traditions of the Old West and the innovations of new technology, music, culture and cuisine. With over 250 live music venues, Austin is home to rock, country, the blues, classical and music in many other forms. And with many restaurants with five star critical acclaim, Austin is also a city known for its eclectic food culture. Also, with the help of celebrities such as Sandra Bullock, Matthew McConaughey, and director Richard Linklater, the film industry has taken notice of Austin and it is now a leading destination for both big budget and independent film.

We began our trip to Austin with the open-minded attitude of exploring everything the city had to offer. Whether it be sky diving at Adrenaline 365, or listening to live country music on the infamous Sixth Street Strip, we were ready for just about anything.

We stayed at the charming Hotel San Jose on South Congress Avenue. This hotel is known for its emphasis on indie film. There are hundreds of eclectic movies that are complimentary for you to watch during your stay. Whether it be John Water’s Pink Flamingos, Richard Linklater’s Slacker or The Wilson Brothers’ Bottle Rocket, you’ll get a crash course in indie film during your stay at this charming, hipster hotel.

Speaking of hipster, Austin has created a 1980’s time warp that is unique only to Austin. It has its own style of dress and Congress Avenue is lined with vintage and resale stores that make its residents look unique and charming in their own way.

 

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A funky store in Austin

 

Just walking a few blocks from the Hotel San Jose, you can see how South Congress Avenue is known for its upscale shops, restaurants, and food trucks. And you can’t walk down South Congress without a stop to the world renown Home Slice Pizza. Even New Yorkers can attest that this is some of the best thin crust New York style pizza in the country. Homemade and created with artisan ingredients, Home Slice makes mouth-watering Margherita, Eggplant, and White Pie with Spinach…what’s not to love? After, stop by the Hey Cupcake! whimsical trailer parked next door for homemade cupcakes to die for! Our favorite was the Michael Jackson: a chocolate cupcake with white frosting!

 

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Hey Cupcake! trailer

 

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Home Slice Margherita Pizza

 

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You might have seen me as the face of Stila, Clear Essence, Nars, Herbalife, Youthful Luster Skincare and Classified Cosmetics. I was a model with the Wilhelmina Agency in Los Angeles for several years. I’ve also been an actor for over a decade and learned a lot about beauty, skincare and fashion in the process. I've worked with everyone from "hairstylist to the stars" Chris McMillan to makeup legend Paul Starr. I’m asked by women, “Excuse me, what lotion do you use?” “What do you use on your hair? I’ve been stopped on elevators, in the mall, restaurants, you name it. And I’ve received emails from as far away as Japan and South America from complete strangers asking me about beauty tips. I’m not saying this to toot my own horn, but to illustrate the fact women ask me about skincare, makeup and fashion. A lot. I believe in every woman's ability to be beautiful. And what I’ve learned, I’d love to share with you.

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